Thursday, November 30, 2006

Kauai - SCUBA!

This is what we were waiting for...our first dive since getting certified in Monterey last spring. Not to mention, it would be our first dive in the tropics. We got up at 5am so we could make it to Fathom Five Divers in Poipu by 7am. We signed up for a boat dive - it's the only way to go. There were 2 other couples on our boat (Chris and kris, Erik and Erika...yeah, we felt left out). Fathom Five took great care of us - they had everything set up when we arrived. All we had to do was put on our gear and backflip off the boat into the water, easy as pie. No carrying all that weight around and getting into the water awkwardly like you do on a shore dive. The first site was Sheraton Caverns - it was awesome! The water was so clear (even down at 60 feet), it was like swimming in a huge tropical aquarium. We saw all kinds of colorful fish and lots of sea turtles, they are very friendly and come right up to you. Benjamin spotted a Moray Eel sleeping in a reef - he's good at finding creatures. The second dive was less reefy and had a sandy bottom, not quite as exciting but still very cool. We saw some frog fish and more turtles. Check out our underwater pictures (thanks to Erik and Erika who took lots of photos and shared them with us). We can't wait for our next diving excursion already!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Kauai - Waimea Canyon Hike

After seeing the Waimea Canyon from a helicopter, we couldn't wait to get out there and hike it. We decided to do a 12 mile trek that covered three different trails and took about a total of 6 hours. The trails were pretty muddy due to recent rainfall which made for tricky manuevering, especially downhill. The first part (Nu'alolo Trail) took us to Lolo Vista Point which offered AMAZING views of the Na Pali coast and Nu'alolo Valley. See pictures. It was surreal, like you were on a different planet. So peaceful and breathtaking, I wanted to stay there forever. But we had more ground to cover. The next few miles were along the Cliffs Trail...we needed a weedwacker for this one! The plants were as tall as I was and you had to literally move them out of the way to forge ahead. It had started raining at this point so we were pretty drenched. Once we made it through, we connected up with the Awa-'awapuhi trail which would eventually lead us back to the main was pretty much all uphill. We were beat by the time we finished and then we had to walk another 2 miles back to where our car was parked. What a day! We were a bit sore afterwards, but those views definitely were well worth the trek. Next posting will be about our SCUBA diving adventures (woo hoo!).

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Kauai - Helicopter Tour

Aloha! We had such a fabulous time in Kauai. The weather was perfect - in the 80's with a few showers here and there. The island has a different feel than Oahu and Maui, it's a lot more laid back. Vast vegetation, mountains and minimal commercialization. You definitely need a car to get around. We stayed on the north part of the island in Princeville and it took about 1.5 hours to drive to the south which is about 45 miles or so.

I'm going to recap our trip in several separate blog entries so you don't have to read a novel. :)

Day 1
Arrived in Lihue around 2pm, picked up our rental car and drove up to Princeville. Checked in at the Cliffs resort and settled in. We really enjoyed staying here - the property is a condo vs. hotel so we had a full kitchen and a washer/dryer which came in quite handy. One of the first things we noticed about Kauai are the wild chickens running around...they're big birds!

Our pimp convertible Sebring/Wild Kauai rooster:

Day 2
Got up at the butt crack of dawn to drive down to Koloa for our helicopter tour. We went with Inter-Island which is the only company that has doorless helicopters for maximized visibility. It was a blast! The views were incredible. Our Italian-accented pilot, Luca, was a great narrator. He showed us breathtaking views of the entire island, including craters, waterfalls, Na Pali coast and Waimea Canyon (the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific" as Mark Twain called it). Much of Kauai can only be seen by helicopter. In fact, you can only drive about half of the island - the rest is accessible by hiking, heli or boat. After the helicopter tour, we had brunch at the Princeville Hotel (pricey so-so food, but amazing views) and then went snorkeling.

Aboard the door-less helicopter/Na Pali coastline:

Jurassic Park waterfall/Waimea Canyon:

View more pictures

Stay tuned for the next installment... Mahalo!

Friday, November 17, 2006


That's "turkey" in Hawaiian! Benjamin and I leave for Kauai tomorrow morning for a week long vacation in the tropics. We didn't want to miss out on a home-cooked Thanksgiving family dinner so we celebrated early with Jeff and Sara. We had quite the feast with a roasted turkey and all the trimmings...Benjamin even made a sweet potato casserole with marshmallows on top!

Speaking of families, Benjamin's parents made a visit a couple weekends ago all the way from Atlanta. They are such nice people! We had a great time showing them around the area, including some places neither Benjamin or I had ever been to - like the Rose Garden and Japanese Friendship Garden where we took lots of pictures. I'm excited for our trip to Georgia next month, I've always heard Atlanta was a fun place!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Sexiest Man Alive

I may be cheesy, but I love my honey!

Friday, November 10, 2006

When I Grow Up...

Do you remember what you wanted to be when you grew up? For the longest time, I wanted to be a lawyer. Then I came to my senses (no offense) and decided I wanted to work on Wall Street, so I picked Business as my major in college. After my first finance class I realized I would never be happy as a number cruncher but I did enjoy my psych classes, so I decided I would be a clinical therapist. Scary thought, huh? I even switched my major to Psychology for a while. When I found out that I would need 8 years of grad school in order to help people with their problems, I switched back to Business and stuck with it. Ultimately, I ended up University Relations. Like most HR professionals, I didn't pick this just sort of fell in my lap. I have to admit I have a pretty fun job but there are days when I still think about what I really want to be when I grow up. If only I had access to this funny video back in kindergarten!